Nu-Blu, the fastest-growing act in bluegrass and Americana music, is kicking off 2016 with a blockbuster tour across North America, including a stop in Baja, Mexico. The group recently performed during The NAMM Show (National Association of Music Merchants) in Anaheim, California while supporting their partners Peterson Tuners, D'Addario, QSC Audio, Sennheiser/Neumann.Berlin, Hercules Stands and Kirlin Cables.
Nu-Blu returned to the 2016 NAMM Show for the fourth consecutive year to entertain fans with multiple showcase performances. Each sponsorship offers the most unique and innovative products on the market, which other band's like Nu-Blu depend on for each and every show. Nu-Blu also got a chance to interact with attendees at the event, showing each product to new, potential users.
The bluegrass chart-toppers recently inked a deal with NS Design for a new bass, which is played by power-house vocalist Carolyn Routh. "Carolyn Routh's vocals shine with distinction, bringing tones of Melissa Etheridge's biting soul combined with diva Paula Cole's crafty melodic sense and range," said NS Design's Artist Relations Manager Corey Redonnett. He adds, "NS is proud to add Carolyn as a RADIUS bass endorser to a long list of creative and hard-working artists."
Carolyn Routh raves about NS Design, stating "I've been searching for a long time to find the perfect bass guitar to fit my needs and add a new dynamic to our stage show. The NS CR4 Radius is that bass."
Another recent endorsement for Nu-Blu comes from Sorensen Mandolin & Guitar Co, who provides top-of-the-line instruments for acts in all genres. Multi-instrumentalist Clint White has already began hitting the stage with his brand-new AX A-style mandolin that delivers a fantastic blend of traditional and modern sound.This is the introduction of this model Sorensen mandolin, as it makes its recording and touring debut with Nu-Blu.
As the new year begins, Nu-Blu also reflects back on a memorable 2015, which propelled them to new heights with their hit song "That's What Makes the Bluegrass Blue" featuring Rhonda Vincent. In addition to hitting No. 1 on Sirius-XM Bluegrass Junction's Most-Played Songs chart, the song also charted in Bluegrass Today's Top 30 most played songs of 2015. The band is already hard-at-work on the follow-up to their critically-acclaimed album, All The Way.
The second round of voting for the International Bluegrass Music Association have been announced! Nu-Blu is honored to be included in the list for the following categories:
Song of the Year: "That"s What Makes The Bluegrass Blue" featuring Rhonda Vincent
Emerging Artist of the Year
Female Vocalist of the Year: Carolyn Routh
Nu-Blu has teamed up with the NC Zoo for a one of a kind experience. Join us on July 25th. for a special concert at the NC Zoo Amphitheater. Each ticket purchase will offer you a chance to win an all expense paid VIP tour of the NC Zoo with Nu-Blu!! CLICK HERE for more info and to get your tickets!
Bluegrass/Americana sensation Nu-Blu are pleased to announce their participation in the inaugural online Bluegrass Roundup on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 6pm EST. They will be performing a special one-hour set, which features EVERY song from their latest album, All The Way. This first-of-its-kind Bluegrass festival will stream the show online HERE. The spectacle is sponsored by JCD Property Management in conjunction with the California Bluegrass Association.
"We've built our career around taking chances and doing new innovative things" said an excited Carolyn Routh. "I hope fans around the world will tune in and be a part of this."
Based on tip amounts, fans will receive the following merchandise:
$10 tip - D/L of All The Way album via iDitty
$20 tip - D/L and signed physical copy of All The Way album
$40 tip - D/L and signed physical copy of All The Way + signed tour poster
Nu-Blu's latest album All The Way was released in Sept. 2014, and spent three weeks inside the top 10 of the Billboard Bluegrass Albums chart. Fueled by its first single "Jesus and Jones," with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame icon Sam Moore, the dynamic pairing performed the song on Huckabee, Imus in the Morning, and The Ronnie Reno Show. Also, their current song "That's What Makes the Bluegrass Blue" with Bluegrass favorite Rhonda Vincent is currently #1 on Sirius-XM Bluegrass Junction's Most-Played Tracks for the month of February.
The California Bluegrass Association (CBA) is a California Non-Profit Corporation which was founded in 1975 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The CBA is dedicated to the furtherance of Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Gospel Music in California. The Articles of Incorporation further state that the organization is formed to promote, encourage, foster, and cultivate the preservation, appreciation, understanding, enjoyment, support, and performance of traditional instrumental and vocal music of the United States.
Bluegrass Favorites & Soul Man Sam Moore Featured on "Ronnie Reno Show"
Nashville, Tenn. (February 11, 2105) -- Nu-Blu, the bluegrass band who has been sweeping the nation, kicked off 2015 on a high note, playing several major cities and performing at the 113th edition of The NAMM SHOW, the annual music products convention staged by the National Association of Music Merchants in Anaheim, Calif. Keeping the momentum going, the band's latest track "That's What Makes the Bluegrass Blue," which features fellow Bluegrass favorite Rhonda Vincent, has been climbing the charts. In addition to debuting at #8 on the Bluegrass Today Monthly Airplay Chart, the track has hit. Radio can download the track, along with Nu-Blu's latest album All The Way, HERE.
"We cannot express how thankful we are for the support from our family, friends and fans," said Carolyn, lead singer of the group. "If y'all thought 2014 was crazy, get ready for 2015! We'll be logging more miles, playing more shows and sleeping more nights on the bus than ever before!"
Additionally, Nu-Blu and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame icon Sam Moore are appearing on a very special episode of "Reno's Old Time Music" this weekend on RFD-TV. On this episode, Nu-Blu and Sam Moore perform their collaboration "Jesus and Jones" for the audience, as well as the popular hymn "Will The Circle Be Unbroken." And for the first time ever, the Sam & Dave classic "Hold On, I'm Coming" will get a Bluegrass twist (complete listing of air dates and times below).
Reno's Old Time Music Air Dates:
Saturday, February 14th at 7:00PM/CST (8:00PM/EST)
Thursday, February 19th at 7:30AM/CST (8:30AM/EST)
We always look forward to the NAMM Show each year and working with all of our partners in the music industry. With performances at Peterson Tuners, helping to showcase the new QSC Touchmix Mixing Console, and taking part in the product lauch of the D-1 Digital Wireless system at Sennheiser, we staying hopping the whole time! We did have a few close incounters, like this one with the great Stevie Wonder!
We just want to say thanks again to our of the wonderful folks that we work with and help keep us rolling and sounding our best! Time to say goodbye to Anaheim for another year and hit the road again. Please take time to check out our partners sites for the newest in audio gear! Peterson Tuners, QSC Audio, Sennheiser Mics,
Whether you spend life on the road for pleasure or work, it's nice to have the comforts of home as you travel the highways and byways.
TRAILBLAZER checks in with folks who spend a fair amount of time on the road to see just what makes their home away from home.
This month, we chatted with....NU-BLU, a fast-rising Bluegrass act that hits the road with Lola, their 41-foot Diplomat.
When the road warrior bluegrass act Nu-Blu hits the road, they hop on Lola, their 2001 41-foot Diplomat. The name Lola is a tongue-in-cheek reference to Barry Manilow's, "Copacabana"-"Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl."
Travelling in their rolling showgirl, Nu-Blu's concerts albums have taken the bluegrass world by storm the past few years, with multiple showcase performances at CMA Fest, MerleFest, NAMM, and Folk Alliance. Their new album, All the Way, includes a duet tribute to George Jones with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Sam Moore ("Jesus and Jones") and "That's What Makes the Bluegrass Blue" with bluegrass superstar Rhonda Vincent.
Nu-Blu, based in Siler City in central North Carolina, is comprised of: Carolyn Routh, who handles bass and vocals; Levi Austin on vocals and banjo; Austin Koerner, who plays mandolin; and Carolyn's hubby, Daniel Routh-who is the band's Renaissance man as a guitarist, singer, manager, and tour coordinator, among many other roles.
The group brings its lively and entertaining version of Americana-bluegrass music to audiences across the nation year-round. Their sound acknowledges the traditional institutions that have shaped it, yet is innovative and daring enough to bring a fresh sparkle to contemporary acoustic music that lands them squarely in the forefront of bands blazing the trail in Americana entertainment.
Influences range from the sounds of original bluegrass pioneers like Earl Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, and Lester Flatt to rock bands of the 1980s, and modern contemporary sounds like Alison Krauss and Union Station. Nu-Blu's full, welcoming sounds provide a home for listeners and encourage them to explore new sounds, create personal roots, and imagine music free from labels.
What's your favorite thing about travelling in Lola?
Carolyn: Sleeping in my own bed every night.
Daniel: Air conditioningâ€¦all the time.
Levi: Having the ability to stretch out and move around freely during long trips to and from shows.
Austin: A full-size fridge to store all my food.
What are a few favorite things onboard?
Carolyn: A roomy kitchen with a full size refrigerator/freezer, and a spacious shower.
Daniel: Being on the road for 250 days a year, it's really nice to have some of the entertainment options and comforts that Lola gives us. It really makes the days off on the road nice.
Levi: Bose surround sound system for band movie nights, George Foreman grill, and my instruments.
Austin: Bluetooth speakers to play music from my phone.
What are a few favorite destinations and why?
Carolyn: I love California because you can see the mountains while you're standing on the beach. I am also very fond of the Northwest because of its expansive and rugged beauty.
Daniel: I enjoy the Dakotas and Montana. The mountains in New Mexico are also amazing at sunset.
Levi: Daniel seems to book our tours to escape the extreme weather changes where we live in North Carolina. With that being said, my favorite places are wherever it is warm when it is winter back home and wherever it is cool when summer brings 90 degree days to North Carolina.
Austin: I like Nashville-there's always good music and something to do. I also enjoy when we get to perform near Bismarck, North Dakota, because I have friends and family there.
What are a few favorite venues and why?
Carolyn: We are blessed to have the opportunity to play at so many great venues across the United States and Canada that it's really hard to narrow it down. I'm going for the obvious. Every January, we start our year with a bluegrass cruise to the Bahamas. 'Nuf said.
Daniel: I really don't have a favorite venue, I enjoy meeting all the new folks at each new place we go.
Levi: The Outer Banks Bluegrass Island Festival on the coast of North Carolina is one of my favorite venues to date. There is always an all-star lineup and they hold the largest fireworks display choreographed to bluegrass music. We have played this festival each year it has been put on and have thoroughly enjoyed watching it grow.
Austin: I enjoy the Outer Banks tour that we do each summer. We get to perform at a lot of really cool venues on or near the beach and I can fish on the piers all night for a week!
What are some favorite meals onboard/on the road?
Carolyn: I like making cool wraps, with a side of veggie sticks and dip. I have a real sweet tooth, so I try to keep fresh fruit onboard to keep me out of the cookie bag. I also keep some quirky things on board for snacking, like pickled beets and pimento-stuffed Spanish olives.
Daniel: I'm a chip-a-holic. Once a bag is opened it's gone.
Levi: My current specialty [are] honey BBQ chicken melts. Its quick, simple, and not fast food.
Austin: Frozen pizzas.
If you couldn't be in Nu-Blu, what would you do?
Carolyn: Start another band and do it all again. I'm addicted to music and performing. I love my life!
Daniel: I would be in the business of music-performing is my dream. I'm just lucky enough to be able to do what I love each day.
Levi: I would be playing music elsewhere. It's what I've always wanted to do and I see myself pursuing it as a career for the rest of my life.
Austin: I would be a cook.
CMN’s Top 14 Songs Of 2014
Lisa Lake/Getty Images
It’s hard to believe, but 2014 is quickly reaching its end and that means it’s time to announce the Country Music Nation Top 14 songs of the year! The following songs are not ranked in any particular order, and there are no real qualifications or litmus tests involved in being on this list – except for quality! If you want the most played songs or the highest selling singles, there are definitely charts for that, but these are the songs that we deem the best of the entire year.
So without further ado…Here we go:
1. I’m Not Gonna Miss You – Glen Campbell: 2014 came with the bittersweet farewell from the “Rhinestone Cowboy,” whose battle with Alzheimer’s was the focus of a documentary centering around his final tour and corresponding struggles. This last song is as poignant and meaningful as any song written or recorded this year in any genre. It touched our hearts and is especially meaningful for anyone who has been affected by this awful disease.
2. Mom – Garth Brooks: After years of retirement and playing Vegas, 2014 was a big year for Garth Brooks. He retunred to the stage and began a sold-out World Tour around the country, launched his own digital music service, and released an album which just topped the Country album charts. From that new album came his most powerful song in two decades. The moving single has brought multiple audiences to tears. We look forward to more songs like this from Brooks in the coming years.
3. Old Rugged Cross – Craig Wayne Boyd: When Blake Shelton tapped Craig Wayne Boyd to become a member of his team, magic happened. With a style that reminded us of Travis Tritt, Craig became a sensation, but we’d like to think he won The Voice the night he sang the classic hymn The Old Rugged Cross. The performance went viral and Craig ended up beating the odds and winning the competition for Team Blake once again!
Jason Merritt/Getty Images
4. There’s No Country Here – Melody Williamson: Ever since we shared this video, Melody’s song has become one of the most popular posts we have ever shared. Melody is a young teenager from Tennessee and she made one of the statements of the year. To an industry that is now dominated by Hick Hop and Bro Country, she firmly states, “Who told Music Row we want to listen to this crap?” We agree completely.
5. Home – Dolly Parton: It was a big year for Dolly Parton as well. The Country icon went on a successful world tour and released the album Blue Smoke. While we could have selected the bluegrass-tinted title track, we have to give the nod to this one. The fact that this song didn’t become a hit is a travesty. It even sounded like it belonged on Country radio and it breaks our hearts that such a wonderful song like this couldn’t make it.
6. Girl In A Country Song – Maddie & Tae: The biggest hit on our list made history (as the duo became the first girl group with a Country #1 since 2006). It’s also the best and most creative video (no wonder it has over 15 million views!). Name checking Conway Twitty and George Strait, it’s a very clever protest song that spits in the wind of the Bro-Country and the treatment of women in that arena. We can’t applaud these talented young ladies loudly enough.
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images
7. Me & Conway – Jeff Bates: Speaking of Conway Twitty, the legend was honored with a tribute album this year (spoiler alert – it graces our Top Albums list). You might remember Jeff Bates for hits like Love Song in the early 2000’s. His voice has been compared to Twitty’s and we definitely agree those comparisons are valid. The title track to his album beautifully celebrates Conway Twitty, and Bates certainly has a way with words.
8. All That’s Left – Miranda Lambert & The Time Jumpers: Who said that Miranda Lambert can’t swing? Buried on her Platinum album are great songs like this. Lambert teamed up with Vince Gill and his band of Nashville cats and the result is glorious!
9. Summer Number Seventeen – Ronnie Milsap: Ronnie was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this year and it was certainly about time. He also released a new album of 50’s and 60’s covers. The title track is one of the best on the disc and has us appreciating Lost in The Fifties Tonight all over again.
Rick Diamond/Getty Images
10. Ring Of Fire – Home Free: Ever since winning NBC’s The Sing Off, this Country Acapella group has become quite the sensation. It was hard to choose between this song and their cover of Josh Turner’s Your Man, but we can’t get enough of their version of Johnny Cash’s 1963 smash. The video below is appropriately set around a camp fire.
11. Meanwhile Back At Mama’s – Tim McGraw & Faith Hill: Tim McGraw went back to his roots and his songs moved away from modern beat tracks to creating wonderful pictures in our minds. The surprise performances of the song with Faith at the ACM awards and CMA Music Fest should have been enough to quiet the rumor mills on this sweet couple’s supposed impending divorce (or maybe it was their passionate on-stage kiss).
12. Band of Brothers – Willie Nelson: Willie can’t buy a hit right now but he keeps churning out quality music (with no regard to those he might offend in the process). Despite no single chart success, his albums continue to sell extremely well and land him near the top of the Country charts. If he keeps recording songs like this, Willie will be selling albums for many years to come!
13. Gentle On My Mind – The Band Perry: This song was also featured in the new Glen Campbell documentary, I’ll Be Me. New life is breathed into Campbell’s 1967 Top 30 hit, and it’s so good that it really deserves to be a hit all over again.
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
14. Jesus And Jones – NuBlu (Featuring Sam Moore): The tributes keep coming for the great George Jones. This one might be the most unique and definitely one of the most beautiful. The world of bluegrass crosses with a Soul music legend to honor The Possum. Truly well done.
So did your favorite song make our list? We’re looking forward to a brand new year of fantastic music in 2015, and our hope is that more on our list next year actually get some decent radio airplay and become the hits they deserve to be.
Read more at http://countrymusicnation.com/cmns-top-14-songs-2014-54265#2t7jJhuftBBu7cwf.99
Nashville, TN (December XX, 2014) - Nu-Blu, one of bluegrass music's breakout acts, was joined by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Sam Moore this past week in Nashville for a special taping of Reno's Old Time Country Music show. On this soon to be historic episode, both Nu-Blu and Sam Moore perform their latest collaboration "Jesus and Jones," as well as take the audience through a few twists and turns when they, for the first-time ever in a bluegrass acoustic sound, perform the Sam & Dave classic "Hold On, I'm Coming," and end the show with "Will The Circle Be Unbroken."
"We had so much fun cutting up and talking about some of everything with Ronnie. It was probably a good thing the show was taped in advance cause I couldn't stop laughing and it's not easy to sing and be so tickled at the same time," said an excited Sam Moore.
The pairing began earlier in the year, when Nu-Blu and Sam Moore recorded "Jesus and Jones," to pay tribute to the late country music legend George Jones.
Nu-Blu's latest album, All The Way, has continued to create and maintain momentum since its release, having spent its first 3 week on the Top Billboard Bluegrass Albums chart.
What the Media is Saying:
"Nu-Blu have marched to their own tune since they first hit the bluegrass scene, going where few bands had travelled before, and bringing in influences from all across the music world. It's always fun to see what they'll be up to next." -Bluegrass Today
"Making All the Way even more special was the magical way that everything -- from the recording process to having performers like Sam Moore and Rhonda Vincent included just all came together." - Billboard
"...the highlight of this project is "Jesus And Jones" featuring Sam Moore. We certainly need more of this kind of depth in bluegrass." -Cybergrass
"You may not know who NU-BLU is yet and if you don't look them up on the NET, listen to their wonderful tune, "Jesus And Jones," that includes vocals from Sam Moore, immediately establishes their talent and roots and should put them on the map." - All Access
Nu-Blu: Bluegrass, Soul, Jesus and Jones
Depending on your musical and religious persuasion, just mentioning George Jones and Jesus in the same sentence is either blasphemy or high praise. Hang it on a bluegrass rack, get one of the most revered soul men of all times to sing on it, and you've got a genre bender of epic proportions. “One made wine, the other one drank it,” Nu-blu's Carolyn Routh sings on “Jesus and Jones,” from their latest, All the Way.
“One spoke the gospel,” Sam Moore answers, his magnificent voice still throbbing with churchy soul, as Routh softly replies, “The other one sang it.” The surviving member of Sam and Dave (“Hold On I'm Coming,” “Soul Man,”) was a fan of Jones' music as well as a friend, and quickly agreed to honor him in this first paring of soul and bluegrass.
Siler City's Nu-blu considers themselves a bluegrass band, using traditional instruments and a frontwoman who sounds like Alison Krauss. “I grew up around bluegrass,” Routh says. “Being from central North Carolina, you don't really have a choice, its all around you, all the time.” The band does mostly originals, but has no problem going off the rails doing Pat Benatar's "Shadows Of The Night” stripped down, with only two guitars and a mandolin. "We don't take a rock song or an old country song, and say, 'Hey, let's make this bluegrass.' We just take the song and we play the song like we're feeling it, and it's meaningful to us."
The band admits that when they first started out 11 years ago, they felt a real need to conform to the industry standard. “We're comfortable in our own skin now," Routh says confidently, "able to step out of those boundaries, spread our wings and say, 'We love this bluegrass, but this is how we're feeling this song.' ”
That’s What Makes the Bluegrass Blue (featuring 5-time Grammy winner Rhonda Vincent) is the perfect tune to kick off the ten tracks from ALL THE WAY – the fifth album by Nu-Blu. And while you may or may not have heard much from this group previously, I promise you this CD will change what you thought bluegrass was suppose to be.
Taking a cue from the Queen of Bluegrass, Rhonda Vincent, Nu-Blu educates us in how country and bluegrass are two interwoven threads creating a seamless piece of musical fabric. A Little Good News is as relevant today as when Anne Murray first recorded the song in 1983. Relevance aside, the amazing voice of Carolyn Routh makes the track timeless and a perfect addition to this CD.
The remaining tracks from Rhythm of the Train through Heavy Cross To Bear weave an invisible ‘stitch in the ditch’ to create a well-designed quilt of comfort and coming home. But the first single from ALL THE WAY is what pulls everything together. Jesus and Jones is that one piece of fabric that with the first line you know the quilt (album) would be lacking without. The effervescent decorative applique comes from the addition of Sam Moore (Soul Man legend) sharing the lead vocals. While the last person you might associate with bluegrass, Moore’s classic tone blends well with the undercurrent of the roots that make ALL THE WAY sure to become a keeper.
I'm tipping my hat....
One of the things I enjoy about this current chapter of my life is coming across new (to me) songwriters, singers and groups. I’ve learned about many such folks recently and the newest one to me is a group called Nu-Blu. Like I said, they’re new to me- they’ve been around since 2003 so seasoned bluegrass/Americana folk may know their entire output.
Nu-Blu is anchored by the husband/wife team of Daniel and Carolyn Routh. Multi-instrumentalist Levi Austin and mandolinist Austin Koerner round out the quartet. The bio on their website mentions influences like Flatt, Scruggs and Martin, as you would expect from any bluegrass band worth their salt from North Carolina, but also modern torchbearer Alison Krauss. It turns out to be a winning combination- particularly if you prefer the influence leaning toward the Krauss side of the ledger. The group has a new project just out called All the Way and it should prove to have a pretty decent shelf life.
The disc contains one instrumental and 9 vocal tracks varying in tempo and texture, but staying predominately on the contemporary edges of bluegrass. The quality is high throughout the work. The vocals are strong, harmonies tight and instrumentals well done. In fact, the things I found to grouse about were strictly personal preferences about technical things. The CD opens up with a solid ‘grasser “That’s What Makes the Bluegrass Blue“. I was listening to this initially without credits and though the harmonies took unexpected turns at first, there was something familiar about the sound. It turned out that the familiar sound was the voice of none other than the Queen of Bluegrass Music, Rhonda Vincent. Her voice, as flavor, adding to Carolyn’s was absolutely perfect for this song.
Each of the songs bear listening, but I will highlight three. The fourth cut (All the Way) is a song written by Carl Jackson and Allison Mellon. After a couple of hearings, the lyrics hit me. What a powerful story of a woman’s life and the long reach of a rebellious act of youth in three snapshots!
Forgiveless (Louisa Branscomb) is a gorgeous thing with the instruments becoming the forgiveless river about which Carolyn is singing. This almost requires headphones in order to be sure to not miss a single note or word.
If you begin with a Rhonda Vincent guest spot, how do you end? How about Sam Moore of R&B’s Sam & Dave fame dropping in to sing a song about Jesus & George Jones? Musically, Carolyn starts with a very strong, soul vocal on the first verse. Sam answers in the same vocal register as only Sam Moore can. Lyrically, contrasting Jesus, the one who was both fully God and fully human with no sin, and George Jones, who was fully human, with plenty of sin on public display, but who found peace in Jesus is a wonderfully written song (Cheri Hefner/Rick Tiger). In the view of the writer/singer, God has sent Jesus for our salvation, but He has also shown His glory in people like George Jones. Flawed? Yes. In need of mercy and grace? Certainly. Just like all of us? Most definitely. Could the grace of God reach Jones? He did. This is one large way God gives the rest of us encouragement and hope.
Here are the lyrics of verse 1 & the chorus.
“One made wine, the other one drank it. One spoke the Gospel, the other one Sang it. One gave salvation the other one needed. One was faithful, the other one cheated.
Amazing Grace and his sweet sound. I was raised and live by it now. From the cross to a field of stone, I thank God for Jesus and Jones.”
You’re going to have to watch the video to get the rest. Watch it HERE.
The album is even and solid from start to finish and I would recommend it to anyone who likes well done music of most any genre. When we look back, this may not be Nu-Blu’s magnum opus. I think they have something even greater coming. I also think, however, that All the Way will be the foundation on which that will be built.
Bluegrass group Nu-Blu will release their newest album "All The Way" on September 16, and this record is an asset to any music listener's CD collection.
They will release it via their record label, Rural Rhythm Records. It opens with "That's What Makes The Bluegrass Blue," a dynamic vocal collaboration with bluegrass queen Rhonda Vincent. It is followed by the moving ballad "A Little Good News," where lead singer Carolyn Routh displays her gentle and heavenly vocals. They continue with the upbeat "Rhythm of the Train," which features strong harmonies and rich bluegrass instrumentation. The title track, the soothing"All The Way" is yet another crystalline vocal by Carolyn, where the listener could easily recall Grammy-winning vocalist Alison Krauss. "Black Jack," which runs a little over two minutes, showcases the band's instrumental prowess. "Isn't She" is a mellow yet smooth vocal, while "Forgiveness" is a haunting ballad that will give one goosebumps. "It's Not That Cold In Montana " features stunning violin and the addicting banjo-playing on there helps elevates it to a higher level. "Heavy Cross To Bear" is a pure and calming vocal performance by Carolyn. It closes with the remarkable track, "Jesus and Jones," which is worth the price of the CD alone. They collaborate with a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, "The Soul Man" himself, Mr. Sam Moore. The Verdict Overall, Nu-Blu delivers on their newest studio effort. It is warm, acoustic and backed with high-quality lyrics, instrumentation and vocals. All four musicians have done a superb job. Well done. It garners 4 out of 5 stars. For more information on Nu-Blu and their latest album All The Way, check out their Facebook page or website at www.nu-blu.com
Grammy winning, multiple hit songwriter Louisa Branscomb teams up with award winning band Nu-Blu to produce innovative new songwriter workshop series, "Song to Stage" ™
Nashville, TN( August, 2014) The Song To Stage collaborative announces the launch of a new songwriter development program, guided by Grammy winning songwriter Louisa Branscomb, along with the award winning bluegrass-Americana group Nu-Blu. Song To Stage is a first of its kind, an innovative songwriter-artist-production workshop designed to advance the personal and professional needs of the songwriter from all angles of the creative and business process.
"We are extremely excited about the curriculum we have created for songwriters of all levels, the unusual and special setting of the Outer Banks, and most of all, to be working with Louisa - who is often called "The" bluegrass songwriter. Her work goes way beyond bluegrass though - and she is an inspired writer and teacher. We love working with Louisa, and I've learned why some people say "Louisa IS songwriting" -Daniel Routh of Nu-Blu.
Louisa comments, "After 35 years of teaching and mentoring songwriters, I am very excited about this new venture in combining forces with Nu-Blu to expand the usual cirrculum of my workshops. Our retreat-styled workshops, set in the beautiful Outer Banks of NC, preserve the inspirational setting and emphasis on personal creativity that are a hallmark of my Mastercraft series at the Woodsong Writer Retreat. At the same time, the skills that the members of Nu-Blu bring allow us to adding tracks that expose the participant to all aspects of songwriter development from inspiration to craft, and pitching to recording, promoting, and performance. Having songwriters and artists together - with the amazing breadth of skills that Nu-Blu brings - gives this workshop wonderful new possibilities to strengthen the areas that each participant wishes to work on."
The first workshop in the series will be held from October 30th to November 2nd, 2014, with accommodations on the stunningly beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina. The workshop fee is much less than most workshops, and even includes lodging in the beautiful vacation destination of Manteo, NC. Song To Stage will be held at the old courthouse in the downtown area and include a special performance by Nu-Blu and Louisa. The “Branscomb - Blu” team will also be signing up various festivals throughout the US to host workshops in the series that are tailored for each event or festival.
Louisa continues "Being a professional or serious songwriter has a much wider challenge than "Just" writing songs. Most writers have strengths in some areas, such as inspiration and creating a basically good song, but relative weaknesses in other areas, such as editing to full completion, recording an effective demo,artist relations, pitching, or even how to effectively sing their song in songwriter settings. This workshop is designed to provide a full curriculum responsive to individual needs, and as a basis for building skills in subsequent workshops. We keep our classes small so that we can be flexible and attuned to individual needs and goals, while also building community and mutual support that songwriters need for their work "
RESERVATIONS ARE NOW OPEN FOR SONG TO STAGE 1:
- RETREAT DATES: October 30 - November 2, 2014.
- FEE: $525 per person INCLUDES 3 nights lodging in or around Manteo, NC.
- REGISTRATION DEADLINE (full tuition required): Oct 4, 2014
- ACCEPTANCE: You will receive email confirmation of your place in the workshop from Daniel Routh of Nu-Blu.
- For more info or to reserve your space CLICK HERE or visit www.songtostage.com
Louisa is a performing musician and recorded songwriter (180 recorded songs), with numerous chart hits by artists including Claire Lynch, Dale Ann Bradley, John Denver, Alison Krauss, Janet McGarry, Daughters of Bluegrass, and hits from her own solo recordings. She is Founder and Director of Woodsong Farm Writers Retreat, where for 25 years she has evolved her unique program of experiential retreats, Branscomb Mastercraft. Her approach combines the inspiration of the rural mountain setting with her innovative, personalized approach to facilitate songwriters in personal and professional development. Her current series, Beyond Bones: The Soul of the Song, focuses on supporting the unique voice of the songwriter and facilitating the process of deep, authentic writing. With careers in psychology, music, and education, Louisa is interested in cultivating the elements that make for powerful, effective songs. Pioneering new ways of facilitating songwriting is just Louisa's latest frontier. She was the first woman to front a band playing banjo, while also providing the original repertoire for the band. Louisa has served as a role model, mentor and pioneer for songwriters throughout her 45 year professional career. Her current hit, "Dear Sister," (co-written with Claire Lynch) is nominated for the IBMA 2014 Song of the Year.
Nu-Blu, based in central North Carolina, has been dubbed as one of the most energetic, friendly, and professionally successful new bands in Bluegrass/ Americana. Nu-Blu is comprised of Carolyn, who handles bass and vocals; Levi Austin on vocals and banjo; Austin Koerner, who plays mandolin; and Daniel, who is the band’s Renaissance Man – guitarist, singer, manager, recording engineer, tour coordinator, among many other roles. The group brings its lively and entertaining version of Americana-bluegrass music to audiences across the nation year-round. Their sound acknowledges the traditional institutions that have shaped it, yet is innovative and daring enough to bring a fresh sparkle to contemporary acoustic music that lands them squarely in the forefront of bands blazing the trail in Americana entertainment. Influences range from the sounds of original bluegrass pioneers like Jimmy Martin and Flatt and Scruggs to rock bands of the 1980’s, and modern contemporary sounds such as Alison Krauss and Union Station. Nu-Blu’s full, welcoming sounds provide a home for listeners and encourage them to explore new sounds, create personal roots, and imagine music free from labels. Each member of Nu-Blu brings an advanced skill set in one or more areas of professional development and music performance and production to the Song to Stage Curriculum.
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The Dynamic Pairing Will Perform Their Brand New George Jones Inspired Single “Jesus and Jones”
Nashville, Tenn. (August 7, 2014) – The legendary “Soul Man” Sam Moore, and the fastest rising act in bluegrass, Nu-Blu continue to generate buzz, as they gear up to perform their brand new George Jones inspired single, “Jesus and Jones” on Fox News’ Huckabee show on September 20th. This must-see performance will be both soulful and bluegrass-flavored. “Jesus and Jones” is the first offering from Nu-Blu’s upcoming album All The Way, which is set for release on September 16. The song was written by Cheri Hefner and Rick Tiger and is NOW AVAILABLE at iTunes, Amazon, Google Plus, Rhapsody and eMusic. “Jesus and Jones” is also available for D.J. download on AirPlay Direct RIGHT NOW by clicking HERE. Also, check out Billboard’s interview with Sam Moore discussing the new single HERE.
This single takes Sam Moore on his first venture into the bluegrass realm, noting that he has already recorded songs in rhythm & blues, jazz, big band, pop, and country. Reaction from bluegrass radio to Moore’s debut performance is already garnering positive reviews.
“You pair one up and coming bluegrass band with one R&B legend, then add a song pairing country music icon, George Jones, with Jesus and you have what has to be the most unique sound in bluegrass today! Nu- Blu’s Carolyn Routh vocally sets up the song “Jesus and Jones” as a mainline bluegrass salute to the late Mr. Jones. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Sam Moore then shows why he is still a “soul man” with his turn at the mic. When their voices blend on the finale it is magic! Totally bluegrass….No….Totally soul….No….Totally great music….YES!,” says Gene Skinner of Great Stuff Radio.
“Carolyn’s vocals align perfectly with Sam Moore’s soulful sound on “Jesus and Jones” as Nu-Blu carves a new notch in their musical achievements.” – Bob Cherry, Cybergrass
“The song is massive!” – Gary Henderson, WAMU-FM – BluegrassCountry
“Sam was a pure delight, and the sincere joy he takes in music, and in having a chance to remember his friend, George Jones, was palpable.” – John Lawless, Bluegrass Today
“This is TOO COOL, … well done!” – Buddy Merriam, Blue Grass Time “…we have the song in rotation as of today.” – Paul Marx, KBON-FM
After garnering multiple showcase performances, including CMA Fest, MerleFest, NAMM, and Folk Alliance, 2014 has already been a momentum-building year. With several new collaborations, including a special feature with the ‘queen of bluegrass’ Rhonda Vincent, this album is sure to go all the way to the top of fan playlists!
Bluegrass Group Nu-Blu Joined By Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Sam Moore For His First Bluegrass Recording on "Jesus & Jones"
"THE LEGENDARY SOUL MAN" SAM MOORE CROSSES MUSICAL GENRES TO PAY TRIBUTE TO COUNTRY ICON AND FRIEND GEORGE JONES
Nashville, TN (July 14, 2014) – "The Legendary Soul Man" Sam Moore, voted one of the 100 top pop voices of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine, joins bluegrass group Nu-Blu as a special guest on their upcoming single release "Jesus & Jones," a song that pays tribute to the late George Jones.
Moore, who had been invited personally by George before he passed away, performed at what became Jones' tribute show "Playin' Possum: The Final No Show" in November of 2013. Sam took no time to agree to participate in recording this song. "I've been a fan of George's music for a long long time and was fortunate enough that we called each other friends," says Moore. "This song honors him and says what we all have felt about him."
Nu-Blu is set to release their latest Rural Rhythm Records single "Jesus & Jones," to radio on July 22nd. The highly anticipated track will serve as the first offering from their forthcoming album, All The Way, due out on September 16.
"We absolutely love this song and its message," says Nu-Blu's Carolyn Routh. "We played the demo for George's widow Nancy Jones and she loved it. With her encouragement we recorded it and just knew we wanted to add a guest vocalist to the recording. Then we thought back to the November tribute show and remembered it was Sam Moore who had just brought the house down. You could see the love he had for George. We connected with Sam and now the recording is done. This is not only Sam's first time ever to record on a bluegrass song, it apparently is the first time anyone from his genre has participated on a bluegrass recording as a featured guest. How cool is that! To have a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member sing on a bluegrass song. Wow, we are just so thrilled and hope that music lovers enjoy it as much as we did making it."
This is Sam Moore's first venture into the bluegrass realm. Over the years, he has crossed over from soul, the genre his hit "Soul Man" named, rhythm & blues, jazz, big band, pop, and country. Sam Moore was nominated for an ACM, and two CMA's for his collaboration with Conway Twitty of "Rainy Night In Georgia" on the Country, Rhythm & Blues album. Their video is considered a classic and one of the top country duets of all time. This new song, a mix of bluegrass and soul will leave fans wanting more.
All The Way will take Nu-Blu creatively into new boundaries. In addition to the duet with Sam Moore, 'queen of bluegrass' Rhonda Vincent is also featured on the album. Come September 16, the world be able to hear all of the new music, and partake in the revolution that is Nu-Blu.
For more information on Nu-Blu, please visit nu-blu.com.
Carolyn Routh, the centerpiece of the band that she and her husband Daniel (vocals and guitar) formed, is a stupendous singer who ranks among the likes of Rhonda Vincent and Claire Lynch. Under her powers, ballads like “Without A Kiss” (co-written by Scott Filson, Michael Mahler, and Bill Filson) and “Shadows Of The Night” (D.L. Byron) heard on Nu-Blu’s latest album Ten (which celebrates this North Carolina-based band’s tenth anniversary) take on an almost transcendent credibility and beauty.
There’s a back-story here that makes her stellar vocal performances all the more inspiring to anyone who has endured serious health issues. In 2003, around the time of Nu-Blu’s inception, Carolyn had a series of strokes that for a while left her unable to talk and barely able to walk. Needless to say, she’s bounced back beautifully. But as is manifest on Ten, Carolyn’s show-stopping pipes and courageous powers of renewal are merely the tip of the iceberg. These ten well-chosen songs also highlight the highly accomplished picking and harmony singing that this four-member ensemble brings to the show.
Along with the Rouths, the band is rounded out by Levi Austin (vocals, banjo, and guitar) and Austin Koerner on mandolin. (Carolyn also doubles on bass.) For these sessions, they were joined by ace fiddlers Ron Stewart and Jim VanCleve. Daniel Routh is a far more low-key and ordinary lead singer than his wife is. Yet he brings quiet earnestness and dignity to moving heartland celebrations like “Eddie’s Garage” and “The Seed.” The entire band also takes a collective star turn on a powerhouse bluegrass instrumental breakdown called “Giant Squid.”
Even if a few of the songs on Ten, such as “Shadows Of The Night,” lean slightly toward the pop end of the spectrum, their power and appeal are unquestionable. (Rural Rhythm, P.O. Box 750, Mt. Juliet, TN 37121, www.ruralrhythm.com.)BA
Hailing from the abundant bluegrass lands of North Carolina, Nu-Blu was founded in 2003. With three albums, The Grass Still Grows, Nights, and their latest release The Blu-Disc to their credit, the band is quickly making a name for themselves in the bluegrass world. Comprised of Daniel Routh (vocals/guitar), Carolyn Routh (vocals/bass), Levi Austin (vocals/banjo), and their newest member, Austin Koerner (mandolin), Nu-Blu has forged their sound in the fires of tribulation that would have ended most groups. From the two near fatal strokes suffered by Carolyn to the dissolving and subsequent reforming of their recording label, Pinecastle, they have survived the gauntlet of bad breaks and kept right on rolling. The story of how Nu-Blu formed is a tale for the Hallmark Channel. The forming of Nu-Blu is synonymous with how Daniel and Carolyn came together as a couple. Carolyn explains, “In late 2000, I had begun singing with a contemporary Christian trio. Around the same time, Daniel and I met at our local Wal-Mart where he was the grocery manager. He was playing banjo in a band with Donna Hughes at the time. One day, when Daniel was having lunch at my family’s restaurant, he mentioned that he was looking for a guitar player and I retorted that I was looking for a bass player. ‘I’ll play bass,’ he said. ‘I don’t know how, but I’ll learn,’ he replied. Daniel took me to see Lonesome River Band at the Bass Mountain Bluegrass Festival. That was the first bluegrass event I’d been to in many years. Remember, I was a rock-and-roll chick at heart. Lonesome River Band hit the stage wide open. They popped off at least four to five songs nonstop, no talking, no tuning, just straight-up hard-driving ’grass. I was blown away! I never knew bluegrass could have the kind of energy and punch that I got from rock music, but there it was. I was in love. With the realization that playing rock was going to mean late nights, smoky bars, and little to no money, I began to reconsider the logic behind a decision that neither of us felt comfortable about anymore. I asked Daniel if he thought we could put together a bluegrass band. At first, he was reluctant to agree. He says now that he wanted to be sure I was serious. Nu-Blu was up and running, well more like limping in the beginning, but you have to start somewhere. Then my health began to fail. The headaches began to get worse. Then in November they scheduled me for a MRI at a neurological clinic. Two days before the appointment I was hospitalized because I was unable to generally function due to the pain. I had lost my ability to form coherent words and the use of my right side. I was terrified!” Carolyn pauses. “Daniel was there, holding my hand, trying to calm me down, carrying me to the hospital. Early the next morning, Thanksgiving morning, lying in an ER surrounded by a team of neurologists, my blood pressure soared, and I had two strokes. My memories are sketchy and some have come back slowly over time as my brain healed. One memory that is very clear, is the first time I saw Daniel after coming to. Someone said, ‘There’s somebody here to see you,’ and when I looked towards the foot of my bed, there was Daniel. My eyes filled with tears and I wanted to reach out to him. He was my rock. He still is.” Nu-Blu’s backing musicians, Levi and Austin, are excellent musicians. But talent alone will not sustain a group. Band chemistry is a vital element in a group’s success. “Finding the right mix is something that every band struggles with. We feel that we really have something special with both Austin and Levi,” said Daniel. “As for Levi,” Daniel paused. “He helps to shape our sound in so many ways. He is an integral part of our music. His banjo playing speaks for itself, hard-driving on numbers like ‘How Do I Move On.’ He provides a smooth vocal backup on several songs. Levi joined Nu-Blu when he was only 14. Now at 19, he is a former North Carolina State Champion, as well as a first place winner in the youth bluegrass banjo competition at the 2007 Galax Old Fiddlers Convention. He also plays lead guitar on several of the slower songs we do that don’t require the banjo. He is always a vital part of vocal arranging as well as arranging new material. Many of the tracks on ‘Nights’ were engineered by him as well.” “Coming from a jazz and rock background has made Austin a perfect fit for Nu-Blu,” said Carolyn. “He really helps fill out the band’s overall sound.” Daniel agreed, “He pays attention to what else is going on instrumentation-wise and plays just what is needed—no more, no less. Koerner, at only 20, is poised to be one of the next generation’s great mandolin players.” With the untimely demise and subsequent return of Pinecastle Records, Nu-Blu found themselves on a roller coaster, label-wise. Both the band and their record, Nights, rode the waves like a buoy caught in a hurricane. “Nu-Blu has been very blessed with wonderful and supportive family, friends, and fans,” states Carolyn. “While we were devastated, me possibly the most of all, there were friends and colleagues encouraging us to pick up the pieces and go forward. We received so many calls and e-mails. It was overwhelming. “Our publicist, Penni McDaniel of Hope River Entertainment, who had already started the buzz for the Pinecastle release, told us we could do this. Since she’s one of the best in the business, we followed her advice and proceeded. Nights mailed out to radio stations and I held my breath and prayed that the DJs who received them would be kind enough to take a listen. What happened next was phenomenal. We were taping Song Of The Mountains at the Lincoln Theater (Marion, Va.) when we got the first DJ phone call. Before the day was done we had already heard from no less than five DJs via phone and e-mail. The outpouring of support has been absolutely phenomenal.” Two stellar tracks on Nights are cover versions of the Nanci Griffith song “Spin On A Red Brick Floor” and the traditional Irish instrumental “Red Haired Boy.” Says Carolyn, “Daniel and I love music, all music,” stated Carolyn. “We are constantly on the look out for new material to amp up our shows and give our listeners a taste of something different. We were browsing through some of Nanci Griffith’s back catalog when we ran across ‘Spin On A Red Brick Floor.’ We both really loved it and Daniel said it would be a great song to do. From the first time we performed it, audiences have loved it.” From a songwriting perspective, Nu-Blu managed to get a handful of the top bluegrass songsmiths in the business today to contribute. The title track Nights was written by the award-winning bluegrass singer/songwriter Donna Hughes and the songs “Lonesome Mountain” and “Try And Catch The Wind” were written by noted bluegrass and country musician/song-scribe Mark “Brink” Brinkman. “Upon review, these songs where such a perfect fit, I believed they must be included in Nights,” said Carolyn. “We were incredibly fortunate to be able to land these tunes,” Daniel interjects. “‘Nights’ was the song I sang at my grandmother’s funeral in 2007. That’s why it was important to me to record it in her memory, and why it is recorded the exact way it was played at her funeral. I feel especially lucky to have gotten ‘Lonesome Mountain.’ The first time we heard it was at the IBMA conference. Brink had already told us that we could do ‘Try And Catch The Wind’ and we didn’t want to be greedy. Some time later we needed a few more songs to round out the CD and went to his website to see if he had anything new up. There was ‘Lonesome Mountain’ We called him immediately and asked if we could record it. The moment of truth was the first time that I sent him a rough mix. Thankfully, he loved it. You always want the writer to like what you did with their song.” Nu-Blu doesn’t shy away from their Christian faith, recognized in many of their songs. As such they have found themselves on the front lines of the debate between those that believe gospel bluegrass should be considered as sub-genre of bluegrass, and those that feel that the gospel element is intrinsic to bluegrass music. “The acceptance and inclusion of gospel music on even secular bluegrass albums is part of the charm of bluegrass in general,” said Carolyn. “No other genre of music is this all inclusive. Bluegrass artists are free to record an all gospel CD, followed by an all-secular CD of traditional murder ballads if you so wish,” adds Daniel. “Gospel is at the heart of bluegrass music. The history of bluegrass music has its roots firmly ensconced in gospel music—with Celtic and British folk music mixed in as well.” Nu-Blu’s latest album, The Blu-Disc, just released on Pinecastle Records is already proving to be another success for the band, and is positively impacting the record label’s re-launch. The album includes special guests: Rob Ickes (resonator guitar), Greg Luck (fiddle), along with a guest harmony vocal performance by Christy Reid on the single “Other Woman’s Blues.” A song from little-known Nashville songwriter Kira Small, it tells the other side of the story of Dolly Parton’s famous “Jolene” from Jolene’s perspective. Since its radio release, the single and the album have already reached top ten status on numerous charts and continues to receive rave reviews. The music video for the song also adds a savory nuance to the legend. “We shot the video at the Eureka Inn in historic downtown Jonesborough, Tenn. It’s the oldest hotel in Tennessee, and we felt its historic Southern ambience was the perfect place to capture the essence of the song,” said Daniel. “There’s a haunting quality about both ‘Other Woman’s Blues’ and ‘Jolene’ and that’s the spirit we wanted to capture.” Daniel paused for a moment as if he still could sense the hotel’s hoary history and the ghosts within. “The amazing part of the whole process is that it took 12 hours of shooting over two days just to get a three and a half minute video!” Caroyn interjected, “We had no idea that it would be that exhausting.” In addition to the guest musicians, Nu-Blu also tapped the talents of some of the best songwriters in bluegrass. Tim Stafford, John Weisberger, Donna Ulisse, Larry Shell, and Becky Buller, to name just a few who appear on the album credits. The song “Family Quilt,” co-written by Jeff Walter and Deborah Berwyn, is set to be the second single released in late March. “‘Family Quilt’ has proven to be a fan favorite at our shows,” said Carolyn. “Folks are always coming up after a performance and asking, ‘What CD is that quilt song on?’” Nu-Blu have their preferred instruments for recording and performing. And like most recording artists, they signed a few endorsement deals. Carolyn plays an Eminence Bass with a Fishman Full Circle Pickup and a Fishman Pre-amp. The band also endorses D’Addario Strings, Peterson Tuners, and BlueChip Picks. Daniel plays a Martin D-28, the standard for bluegrass. “I do like a Martin D-18 in the studio sometimes. It really depends on the studio I’m at and what mics are being used. If I’m doing something for someone on a country CD, I’ll usually use my D-18. It seems to cut a little better through the drums and bass.” Austin plays a Collins mandolin, and Levi uses the old standby for the banjo, a Gibson Mastertone. Nu-Blu is prepping for a full year of touring in 2012, a trek that will take them from the Carolinas and Florida to Texas and Canada and all points across the Mid-West for good measure. Daniel and Carolyn added, “We also have a new gospel album already recorded and it will be released later this year.” That’s surely exciting news indeed. -Reprinted by permission of Bluegrass Unlimited